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December 4, 2021
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Updates » Design
Spelunky, indie life, and finding success with Derek Yu - GDC Podcast Ep. 22  
by Kris Graft [07.29.21]
Spelunky developer Derek Yu joins Gamasutra's Kris Graft and Alissa McAloon in a live GDC Podcast to talk all things Spelunky, how indie game development has changed over the years, and how game development is an exploration of ideas.
Indie, Design, GDC

The faces of 'the creator economy' for DIY games  
by Gamasutra Staff [07.29.21]
Who are the 'creators who aren’t full-time game devs' making popular games and mods for game creation platforms? We explore game discovery by talking to them.
Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Design, Production, Business/Marketing

Blog: GDC 2021 Wrapup - The Best Slides of the Event  
by Gamasutra Community [07.28.21]
For every GDC, Chris Zukowski recaps the conference not by the best talks but by the best slides so that you can get back to making your games and not watching talks. Here's the latest roundup.
Design, Business/Marketing

Q&A: Defining the detail-driven gameplay of Dyson Sphere Program  
by John Harris [07.28.21]
Dyson Sphere Program tasks players with building an impossibly massive power source capable of saving all of humanity. Here's how a team of five took on a project of planetary scale.
Console/PC, Indie, Design, Video

World of Warcraft devs promise renewed focus on inclusivity 3
by Bryant Francis [07.27.21]
A surprise statement from the World of Warcraft team promises both to work for inclusivity in the workplace and promises changes inside the MMORPG starting today.
Console/PC, Design, Business/Marketing

When Steam wishlists don't convert: a case study  
by Gamasutra Staff [07.26.21]
Working out how your game is going to sell at launch - even if you’ve accumulated a lot of apparent interest and Steam wishlists - can feel like communing with the great beyond. We get into it.
VR, Console/PC, Social/Online, Indie, Design, Business/Marketing

Valve says every game it has tested on the Steam Deck is hitting at least 30fps 1
by Chris Kerr [07.26.21]
Valve says the Steam Deck is capable of playing every piece of software the company has tested on it at 30fps or more.
Console/PC, Programming, Design, Production, Business/Marketing

Washing the worries away: Inside the surprisingly relaxing design of PowerWash Simulator 3
by John Harris [07.26.21]
"Video games don't need to be antagonistic in order to find an audience, and I think this game and other sims show there is still a huge gap in the market for games that simply offer relaxing escapism."
Console/PC, Indie, Design, Business/Marketing, Video

How the painful process of cutting ideas almost sank Sea of Solitude 1
by Chris Kerr [07.23.21]
"Calculating the timeframe and the scope for development so poorly is what nearly caused the whole production to fail."
Design, Production, Business/Marketing, GDC

Using vorticles to simulate wind in Ghost of Tsushima 1
by Chris Kerr [07.23.21]
"We're doing the most basic approximation of fluid dynamics by taking several height map samples out in front of each particle and giving it an upwards velocity in advance so they float over things nicely."
Console/PC, Programming, Design, Production, GDC

Epic Games acquires Sketchfab asset store, reduces platform fees to 12 percent  
by Chris Kerr [07.23.21]
Epic Games has acquired the Sketchfab asset store for an undisclosed fee, and has pledged to immediately lower platform fees to 12 percent.
VR, Art, Design, Production, Business/Marketing

How Naughty Dog prototyped the interactive guitar in The Last of Us Part II  
by Chris Kerr [07.22.21]
"[We decided] the simplest affordance is probably going to be a wheel menu on the analog stick. That way the player can deflect in a corresponding direction without having them look down."
Console/PC, Programming, Design, Production, GDC

Eight tools for creating chilling horror from the maker of FAITH  
by Bryant Francis [07.22.21]
FAITH creator Mason Smith dropped by GDC 2021 with insights on how developers can scare the pants off players even when they’re only working with a handful of pixels.
Console/PC, Design, GDC

A taxonomy of Weenies: the landmarks that define Ghost of Tsushima  
by Bryant Francis [07.22.21]
Here's a breakdown of the different landmark types Sucker Punch used to make Ghost of Tsushima's virtual world compelling and navigable.
Console/PC, Design, GDC

The Microsoft Game Development Kit is now available for free on GitHub  
by Chris Kerr [07.22.21]
Microsoft said it wants to "enable any creator, anywhere on the planet, to make games for our ecosystem."
Console/PC, Programming, Design, Production, Business/Marketing

Hades wins Game of the Year at 21st Annual Game Developers Choice Awards  
by Staff [07.21.21]
Hades also honored with the Best Audio and Best Design Awards, Ghost of Tsushima wins Best Visual Art and Audience Awards.
Console/PC, Design

Umurangi Generation leads the way at the 23rd annual Independent Games Festival Awards  
by Staff [07.21.21]
Umurangi Generation also honored with the Excellence in Narrative Award, other winners include Vessels, Genesis Noir, Arrog, Teardown, and Blaseball.
Console/PC, Design, GDC

Here's a deep dive on the first 30 minutes of Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales  
by Bryant Francis [07.21.21]
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Here's how Insomniac Games made sure their take on Miles Morales landed with a smash.
Console/PC, Design, GDC

Discovering your game's regional appeal, pre-launch?  
by Gamasutra Staff [07.21.21]
What's the best way to see the regional breakdown of Steam interesting and wishlists before launch? This, plus lots more, in our discovery latest round-up.
Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Design, Production, Business/Marketing

Understanding the meaningless, micro-reactive, and marvellous writing of Disco Elysium 2
by Chris Kerr [07.21.21]
"This thing that we've been calling micro-reactivity is essentially a process for generating narrative ripples on an industrial scale."
Console/PC, Design, Business/Marketing, GDC